Report: Canadiens, Maple Leafs trade hinges on Josh Gorges waiving no-trade clause

Jun 30, 8:31 AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs are attempting to trade for Montreal Canadiens defender Josh Gorges, according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie. The potential trade, which would send an unnamed roster player to Montreal in return for the 29-year-old defensive defenseman, hinges on Gorges consenting to the deal. 

"The Montreal Canadiens have made the financial decision [...] to move on from Josh Gorges and the team that wanted to facilitate that was the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is highly unusual," McKenzie explained during an appearance on TSN 690 on Monday morning. "In this particular instance, it sounds like the  Maple Leafs had significant interest in Gorges [...]"

Gorges agreeing to be sent to Toronto isn't exactly a foregone conclusion though. 

"He's been asked to waive and he said no, but the Maple Leafs are holding up hope that he'll come around," McKenzie said.

The blueliner, generally P.K. Subban's most frequent defense partner, just completed the second season of a six-year, $23.4 million contract that includes a limited no-trade clause. Gorges' no-trade clause permits him to provide the Canadiens with a list of 15 teams that he's willing to be dealt to and the list reportedly includes none of the other six Canadian-based NHL clubs.

While Gorges controls his fate, it's not immediately clear where he'd fit in on a Maple Leafs blue-line that already includes all-defense blue-liners like Tim Gleason and the recently acquired Roman Polak. 

In 66 games last season, Gorges managed one goal and 14 points, while leading all Canadiens penalty-killers in ice time. 

Sep 19, 5:51 PM

Sabres' Gorges admits 'hate' of Maple Leafs compelled him to nix trade to Toronto

Sep 19, 5:51 PM

As Josh Gorges settled in at the Buffalo Sabres' training camp on Friday, the defenseman was asked about a summer trade proposal that would have sent him from Montreal to Toronto. 

Gorges admitted the reason he nixed the deal - and subsequently ended up in Buffalo - was due to the "hate" he developed over the years for the blue and white.

“I've always played this game from my heart (and) with character," Gorges told the Toronto Sun. "And going to a team that you've learned to hate over a number of years, I don’t think it would have been fair for Toronto. And that’s one thing I told them right off the bat. I don’t think you’d be able to get the best of me. And I just thought it was fair to let them know that."

Gorges concluded, "I just felt that I probably wouldn't be the same player in Toronto that I was in Montreal."

The thought of playing with the Sabres clearly sat better with him: "We ended up coming to Buffalo. And I think it was a great move for me and my family.”

The Maple Leafs and Sabres are known to engage in emotionally charged affairs from time to time, and Gorges' presence in Buffalo's lineup will certainly be noticed during a regular-season visit to Toronto on Oct. 28. 

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Tom Szczerbowski

Jul 1, 12:32 PM

Canadiens trade Josh Gorges to Sabres for 2016 2nd-round pick

Jul 1, 12:32 PM

The short-lived, but acrimonious, Josh Gorges saga has come to an end. 

The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday that they've dealt the defenseman to the Buffalo Sabres for a second-round pick at the 2016 NHL entry draft.

The Canadiens reportedly had a deal in place for Gorges with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that deal had to be scuttled when the dependable defensive defenseman refused to waive his modified no-trade clause. 

"I want to be a leader on the team with all those good, young players and try to help out any way I can," Gorges told the Olean Times Herald on Tuesday. "If guys have questions, even just being a role model with how I compete. That’s what I want to do. But I want to do everything I can do to help that team win."

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/James Guillory

Jun 30, 6:10 PM

Report: Maple Leafs remain intent on acquiring Gorges, have offered Canadiens a forward

Jun 30, 6:10 PM

It appears as though the Toronto Maple Leafs are continuing their pursuit of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges, despite being rebuffed by the invocation of his modified no-trade clause.

From Gorges' perspective, the exact nature of the deal is likely inconsequential, as its fully within his power to exercise his right to refuse a deal to a team that is not of his choosing. 

However, the continued efforts on Toronto's part may ramp up the pressure to accept a deal, especially in light of the fact that one team wants his services while the other clearly does not.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/James Guillory

Jun 30, 1:42 PM

Gorges on nixed trade: 'I never wanted to leave Montreal, in no way has this been my decision'

Jun 30, 1:42 PM

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges has been a good soldier for a long time for les habitants. Despite limited offensive ability and just average mobility, Gorges has built his reputation (and fortune) on playing smart, hard-nosed, defensive hockey. 

It's partly why Montreal's ancient rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were so eager to acquire the Canadiens blue-liner in a trade, which was nixed when Gorges declined to waive his modified no-trade clause. 

Now the Canadiens and Gorges have a messy and very public situation on their hands. It's a conflagration that Gorges poured a fair bit of gasoline on this Monday:

Gorges added that he's "deeply disappointed" by this dramatic turn of events. 

Jun 30, 12:31 PM

Report: Gorges unwilling to waive modified no-trade clause to join Maple Leafs

Jun 30, 12:31 PM

An odd trade between bitter rivals is complicated enough. It's particularly problematic though, when a veteran player uses his modified no-trade clause to nix the deal.

That's what has happened with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, and defenseman Josh Gorges according to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Apparently the Canadiens were looking to shed Gorges' salary and Toronto was interested in acquiring the defensive defender who has regularly logged top-four minutes during his Montreal tenure. It wasn't a simple transaction, so much as a three-dimensional one though since Gorges has a modified no-trade clause and Toronto wasn't on the list of 15 teams to which Gorges was willing to move.

Gorges has flatly refused to waive his no trade clause to join the Maple Leafs, McKenzie reports.

So now the Maple Leafs don't get their Tim Gleason replacement, while the Canadiens have a respected veteran player on the roster who they very publicly tried to force out. 

McKenzie suggests that, if the Canadiens can't move him to one of the teams to which he's willing to be dealt, they may threaten to place Gorges on waivers. The waiver hammer might convince Gorges to accept a deal to Toronto since, if he goes on waivers, he'll have zero control over his ultimate destination.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/James Guillory

Jun 28, 12:37 PM

Report: Canadiens' Gorges popping up in trade talks

Jun 28, 12:37 PM

The Montreal Canadiens have a list of 15 teams defenseman Josh Gorges would like to go to, and they may have to refresh themselves on that list as his name has been floating around at the draft.

Gorges has four years remaining on his six-year, $23.4 million contract which includes a limited no-trade clause through 2018.